Armed groups kill three civilians, one police officer in Syria: TV

12:18, June 25, 2011      

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Armed groups opened fire Friday in a suburb of the Syrian capital of Damascus, killing three Syrian civilians and one police officer, state TV reported.

The three civilians and the police officer were killed when armed men opened fire in Barzah neighborhood near Damascus, the TV said, adding that armed groups exploited Friday's protests and opened fire on civilians and policemen in many cities, including the central province of Homs.

However, pan-Arab al-Jazeera TV cited activists as reporting that five civilians were shot dead by the Syrian security forces and six others were injured in al-Kissweh area at the outskirts of Damascus, as thousands of anti-government protestors poured into the streets across Syria, calling for freedom and downfall of the leadership.

The Syrian government said 500 members of the security forces have died since the eruption of the protests in mid March, including 120 last week in north Syria, meanwhile, according to activists, more than 1,400 civilians have died and some 10,000 have been detained during the government's alleged crackdown on protests.

Syria has been gripped by more than three months of anti- government protests, however, the protestors' demands have snowballed from modest reforms to the downfall of the leadership who ruled the country for about four decades.

Syria blame on "armed extremist groups" that aim at toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and establishing an Islamic emirate instead.

Source: Xinhua
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